Smotrich: Gafni is one of the most hated politicians

UTJ head blames Smotrich for thwarting right-wing government, and Smotrich hits back.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

MK Moshe Gafni (r.) and MK Bezalel Smotrich
MK Moshe Gafni (r.) and MK Bezalel Smotrich
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The head of the United Torah Judaism party, MK Moshe Gafni, has sharply criticized MK Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, blaming him for the fact that a right-wing government has yet to be formed.

In an interview on Kan Reshet Bet, Gafni said, “We’re going with the right-wing bloc. We’re not zig-zagging – we’re not the Yamina party, and not Religious Zionism either. We’re not going to be bought with promises of ministerial positions.”

Gafni added that, “In the last elections, Prime Minister Netanyahu took votes from us and we dropped a seat. Those votes he transferred to Smotrich and [his fellow party member Itamar] Ben Gvir, to ensure that they passed the electoral threshold, and now they’re preventing us from forming a government. There’s an argument going on between Smotrich and Bennett over who should be in control of the Religious Zionists, and now we’re all suffering because of that – that’s the reason why we don’t have a government.”

Responding to Gafni’s words, MK Smotrich said, “I heard what Gafni said, and I ask myself if this cynical person knows how to do anything other than attack and incite. He is acting like a haredi Liberman (in a reference to MK Avigdor Liberman, who constantly incites against the haredi public and its MKs).”

Smotrich added that, “It’s no wonder that Gafni has become one of the most hated politicians among young haredim. But, to get to the point – I find it incredible that after everything that’s happened, Gafni still thinks that we can partner with people who burn synagogues and condemns me for refusing to do so.”

MK Gafni is not the only politician blaming Smotrich for the failure to establish a right-wing government. Yesterday, MK Amichai Chikli of the Yamina party also accused Smotrich of preventing the formation of a right-wing coalition.

“My friends in the national camp, my position regarding a ‘government of change’ is well-known and has not changed,” he wrote on Twitter, referring back to his decision not to join with left-wing elements to form a coalition, even if his party did do so. “At this point in time, we have the opportunity – and maybe the last such one – to establish a right-wing government first thing tomorrow morning, in spite of the militaristic declarations being made by those who seek to prevent this from happening – namely, Gideon Sa’ar and Bezalel Smotrich, each of whom is trapped in his own arrogance.”

“Get over it,” he concluded.

Responding to Chikli, Smotrich wrote: “Shalom, Amichai my brother – and I would be delighted if you would illuminate me as to exactly how I am ‘trapped in my arrogance.’ Unlike your own party leader, I’m not asking for anything for myself or even for my party. I’m not demanding a rotation deal (even though I, too, have seven Knesset seats…), neither am I demanding to be made Defense Minister, etc. And I already announced that I would support any agreement made between Netanyahu, Sa’ar, and Bennett. What more do you want?”